This is the second book in the series that mashes up Conan Doyle’s famous detective with the Eldritch terrors from H.P. Lovecraft. I loved the first book which was reviewed here and this one isn’t any different. Author Lovegrove nails the style of both Doyle and Lovecraft again in bringing a new story that combines what fans love from both authors. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
This book takes place around ten years after the first. It is hinted that Holmes and Watson have had many run ins with the servants of the Elder Gods and are a bit worse for wear from it. Though they still have been successful in keeping the forces of chaos at bay and keeping the general public from finding out about the horrors that exist in the world. This story opens with them being summoned to Bedlam, a very famous institution for the insane, to see a patient that is writing in a language that he shouldn’t know. Not only is the man horribly mangled, clearly insane, but he hails from America, specifically New England. Between that and his connections to Miskatonic University Holmes decides to investigate.
This eventually leads the pair to an isolated farm inhabited by a strange man and the creatures that are at his beck and call. Here is where Lovegrove does something very clever. Using the literary trick of having them read a diary about half of the book is the story of the characters that Holmes and Watson are dealing with and how they ended up in England. This allows the author to tell part of the story in a familiar Lovecraft vein, not only in the setting but the style before switching back to the “present” with Holmes and Watson to wrap things up.
I made a point in my earlier review to mention how Lovegrove tells his own story while being respectful to two incredibly important and legendary authors. Not only does he do it just as well here, but I think that the story is even better than the first. Some might be disappointed that there is a bit less of the classic Holmes and Watson in Miskatonic Monstrosities, but not using the classic villain Moriarty in this book and instead giving us an antagonist more fitting a traditional Lovecraft story was a nice addition. Sure, almost half the book shifts away from the main characters, but there is something fun and appealing about getting the background to those doing battle with them. Have no fear though because we aren’t done with Moriarty quite yet if the ending of the book is any indication! Okay maybe that was a tiny spoiler.
This was another fantastic read that I highly recommend if you are either a fan of Sherlock Holmes or the twisted world created by H.P. Lovecraft. The writing is easy to get into and flows nicely along. Twice I stayed up way too long to read “just one more chapter.” That is when I know that I’m really digging a book. Seriously guys you need to check out this series from James Lovegrove. Highly recommended.
© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer
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